Little People, Big Dreams: Aretha Franklin; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Amy Blackwell
I knew I was going to love this book before I even opened it. Just one look at the cover had me badly warbling R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.
As a child, Aretha Franklin was surrounded by music. With a natural talent for singing she was soon performing in her father’s gospel choir and when she visited other churches the church-goers fell in love with her powerful voice that was as smooth as silk. Aretha wanted to sing to the world and when she was signed up by a New York record company her dream came true and she would bring a new brand of soul music to the masses…
I cannot tell you how much I love this particular book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, it is one of my absolute favourites. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, was an incredible singer and an incredible lady. Her songs captured the the high and lows of everyday life and the anthemic ‘RESPECT’ became synonymous with African-American women and their pursuit for equal rights. Not only was she doing her thing in the music industry she was a big part of the Civil Rights Movement and would sing at the funeral of her friend, Martin Luther King Jr. Later achievements would see her be the first female inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and singing at the inauguration of Barrack Obama. The little girl from Detroit who used to sing in the bath tub had certainly come a long way.
Delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork and with a story told in short and simple sentences, this is an inspirational read about the most fabulous woman who achieved much and broke down racial and gender barriers. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of her life which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
Aretha deserves the R.E.S.P.E.C.T of us all.
Recommended for 5+.